Learning to be Content

Learning to be Content

As a Workplace Chaplain I occasionally encounter employees who confess they are ready to quit. For some reason, they’ve become discouraged or perceived the grass is greener elsewhere. A disgruntled spirit can breed discontentment and oftentimes, the first response in these situations is to run. Certainly, there are legitimate times to move on (promotional opportunities, work closer to home, etc.). However, I have found that, in most cases, what that person really needs is a changed perspective, not a change of scenery! My role is to help the employee remove the dark cloud that has blurred his vision and to help them “refocus”. Ultimately, he might realize that the greenest pasture is actually where he is currently “planted”.

To be content means to be independent of our external circumstances. Too often, when our circumstances don’t satisfy, we get rattled and decide that it’s time for change.  For workplace believers, contentment in the workplace must come from resting in the providence of God who directs all things. J. Vernon McGee describes providence as the hand of God in the glove of human events. Sometimes, our work environment can be difficult, demanding and unpleasant but that alone is no excuse to run. We should first seek to find God’s purposes for us in our current situations and try to make a difference in that environment.   Paul did exactly that! From a prison cell Paul wrote, I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty with plenty or little. I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength (Phil 4:11-13). Paul was content even while in prison because he found his confidence, strength and security in God’s providence. While his human circumstance was problematic, he trusted God in the midst of it. We can too!

Your workplace challenge is to get a changed perspective. Ask the Lord to validate your calling where you are and to reconnect you with His purpose at work. Trust in His providence and decide to be content where you are. If God is moving you, He will make it obvious. If He is not, decide to work passionately as His representative right where you are. Refocus your efforts and make a difference there…for His Glory!